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April Activities & Ideas for Upper Elementary

There are so many fun activities to do during the month of April! The weather is (hopefully) getting warmer and you're able to get outside, there's Earth Day, April Fool's Day, and so many other spring happenings to enjoy in your classroom. At this point in the year, your students have learned to work independently and your classroom is like a well-oiled machine.  There are so many meaningful activities that you can do throughout the month to keep students up, moving, and engaged while having fun as the weather begins to get warmer and spring fever is in the air. 

Activities for Upper Elementary Students for April

1. April Fool’s Day

When April Fool’s Day falls during the school week, things can get interesting! You can do a fun prank on your students or choose a few engaging activities that still grab students’ attention on such a fun day. You know your students best and know how they will react to a joke, so use your own discretion when choosing!

You can have students do a fun word search for morning work or throughout the day.  They’ll soon find that none of the words are in the puzzle!

April Fools word search puzzle

Doing a “joke directions” activity is always a favorite! Students have to carefully follow the directions or they’ll be doing a few funny actions and tasks! They have to make it to the end to find out they weren't supposed to do any of the silliness at all…if only they'd read the directions carefully!

Following directions April Fools joke

You can read all about the history of April Fool’s Day and have students complete response pages with a reading comprehension passage too.

April Fools Day reading comprehension passage and response pages

2. Ramadan

Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and begins at the beginning of April and lasts for 30 days. The holiday is a time to consider those less fortunate, practice good deeds, and fast.

To honor Ramadan, you can read about the holiday and complete a foldable book.

A small book and reading passage for Ramadan

3. Easter

As Easter approaches in April, you’ll see plastic eggs fill the shelves of your favorite stores. There are so many great things you can do with these eggs in the classroom!!

No matter how old they are, kids love a good old-fashioned egg hunt. It's definitely a fun way to engage students & there are so many things you could put inside the eggs besides candy…although there's always room for candy too, but might as well save that for yourself!

  • Writing Prompts: Write short writing prompts on paper & slip them into the eggs. As students find the eggs, they can pull out the writing prompt, find a spot & write. You can put the same prompt in all of the eggs or do a variety of prompts so each students' writing is different.
Spring writing prompts
  • Word Problems: Create word problems to put in the eggs. This is a fun center that you could incorporate into your math rotation or as an activity students can do as they finish their work. Students can find an egg & then work to complete the word problem. When they're done,they can hide the egg again & then find a new one! They're up, moving, and they have motivation to complete the task so that they can hide the egg and find another.
  •  Crack Open Sentences: Fill the eggs with short or incomplete sentences that students can “crack open”. Students can find the eggs, crack them open (literally) and find the sentences inside. They have to work to make the sentence “juicier” by adding in more vivid words & details. For example, they may find a sentence that reads, “It was a cold day.” It's their job to spice it up! “The chill sent shivers down my spine when I stepped outside!”  When they finish they can hide their egg & find another!
Cracking open sentences egg hunt activity
  • Rewards: Fill the eggs with special classroom rewards & hide them. You can have students choose an egg when they exhibit good behavior or work it into your current reward or behavior system.  If you use a class economy, the eggs could also be added right into your store!
  •  A QR Code Surprise: If your class loves QR codes, you can make QR codes and put them inside the eggs. There are so many possibilities with QR codes…you could use writing prompts, math problems, link to a website to help research for a social studies or science topic.  You can do anything with QR codes, and your students are sure to love them all.  If you are using QR codes, number the eggs so students know which ones they’ve found, since they all look the same!

And since the eggs have two pieces, what better game to play than a matching one? There are so many things you could put on the eggs to match, your students will love finding the matching pieces on their own or with partners. All you need is a Sharpie & eggs.

  •  Root words: On the tops of the eggs write a variety of prefixes and on the bottoms write a variety of root words. Students can match prefixes & root words & write the word's new meaning.
  • Math facts: You can make a quick & easy math matching game by writing math facts on the eggs. You can write any sort of facts: multiplication, division, equivalent fractions, decimal-fraction equivalents, so many possibilities! Put all the eggs in a basket & let the matching begin.
  • Punctuation practice: Another quick-prep game is to write sentences on the eggs with missing punctuation. Students will have to figure out the missing punctuation & match to the sentence. 
  • Easily confused homophones: Some examples that you can use are: their, there, they're; your, you're; hour, our, are.  Write the homophones on the tops of the eggs & sentences on the bottom and students can match the homophones to the sentences. 

There are so many fun things to do using plastic eggs, and they are such a cheap resource to use. You don't have to buy a ton of eggs either.  A quick tip is to use hairspray to erase the Sharpie from the eggs. It works so well, and not just on the eggs; it removes Sharpie from most surfaces. 

 4. Passover

Passover begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, which usually falls at the end of March or the beginning of April.  It is a holiday commemorating the Hebrew's liberation from slavery.

Here are few Ramadan, Easter, & Passover themed books you might enjoy reading to honor these holidays:

Easter and Ramadan books

5. Earth Day

There are so many amazing ways to celebrate Earth Day in the classroom.  You can talk about ways to “go green,” have students plant seeds, plant a tree as a class (if you are able), go on a nature walk, make bird feeders, talk about recycling, and so much more!

 “The Water Protectors” is a beautiful book to share in honor of Earth Day. It is an inspiring call to action to bring attention to movements to protect the planet's water. Your students will be moved and inspired.

The Water Protectors book

“Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years” and “My Friend Earth” are two more of my favorite books to share for Earth Day. They are both very different books but share amazing information and illustrations that your students will love.  They each are filled with great discussions to have with your students.

Earth Day books

The free April guide includes activities for both of these books that I know your students will love.

And you will love this foldable book for Earth Day. It packs a lot of info without a lot of prep. Students can do short writing prompts on one sheet of paper that folds up into a small book. These are perfect for bell ringer activities or throughout the day. Students love sharing their ideas and you'll love the ease of the prep.

Earth Day foldable book

You can also have students read all about Earth Day in a reading passage.

Earth day reading comprehension passage

“Ada's Violin” is really a great book to share for Earth Day as well. It tells the story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay and how the orchestra created their instruments and music from a trash pile. There are a lot of great extension activities to do and even a news special to watch!

Ada's Violin book and reading passage

Here are a few books you might like to read to celebrate earth day:

Earth day book covers

6. National Poetry Month

National poetry month reading passage

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? The month of April is a great opportunity to really dive into poetry full force to help students develop a love of reading and writing poetry.

Sharing favorite poems, giving students opportunities to write their own poems, setting up centers, having a variety of poetry books available for students to use, and modeling your own reading and writing of poetry will help bring poetry to life for your students in the month of April.

Here are a few books you might like to read to celebrate National Poetry Month:

Poetry book covers

I hope you found some great activities and books to use throughout the month of April!

I've put everything together in an “April Guide,” made to help you as you are planning for the month ahead. You can find everything you need for Earth Day, Easter egg hunts, Ramadan, April Fool's Day, and more. Everything is in this three-page guide with clickable links and photos!

A free guide for the month of april
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